Before & After: The DIY Custom Bunk Bed in This Kid’s Room Cost only $450 to Build

published Dec 13, 2023
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blue walls in a bare room with floating shelf on wall and built in cabinets

When designing a kid’s room, a magical moment might happen when their wishes align precisely with yours. Take dentists Luke and Hayley Blythe’s experience when scheming their son, Alfie’s, room in their cottage-style home. Originally, Alfie’s room wasn’t the most exciting place for a kid to imagine, play, and create. Instead, the space had “tired old blue-painted walls and dark, dingy red carpet,” Hayley explains. The couple likely wanted to infuse more whimsical, childlike wonder into the room while honoring Alfie’s wish. 

“He [Alfie] was desperate to have a bunk bed, and we promised him one once we moved,” Hayley says. “We discussed a lot with him when we were planning the bed.”

Luckily, Alfie’s desire for a bunk bed also complemented Hayley’s vision. She wanted to create a DIY bunk bed influenced by Scandinavian aesthetics like “clean lines and light-coloured wood.” So, Hayley sketched a design and shared it with Luke to help bring it to life. It’s a bonus that the room’s floor plan supported the bed, too. 

My idea was to remove this cupboard to build the custom bed frame into the space. The space did not fit a standard bunk bed frame, so we had to make one to fit,” Hayley notes. “Making use of the bed in the alcove was the best use of space to allow my son to still have play space.”

Doesn’t it look wonderful?

Creating a DIY bunk bed only took four days (over the span of two weekends) and cost around $430. It’s one of the family’s favorite parts about Alfie’s room, and they’ve made several memories with the furniture piece. To create it for their son, they first sketched the design and took measurements of the space. Then, they purchased the wood and constructed the frame for the bottom bunk, ensuring it was secured to the wall. Next they added the upright beams and constructed the frame for the top bunk, ensuring it, too, was securely fixed to the wall. Then, they built the ladder, using dowel joints so the ladder rungs screws wouldn’t be visible. They finished by cutting wood for the slats and screwing them into the framework.

Since Alfie’s bunk bed has been installed, it’s been the space of many happy family memories. Their son chose to sleep on the top bunk, so Luke created a shelf near the headboard that holds Alfie’s prize possessions. When asked about her favorite feature in Alfie’s new bright bedroom, Hayley looks toward their DIY creation. 

“Absolutely the bunk bed. So much attention to detail and hard work went into it and to see how much my son loves it,” Hayley writes. “My daughter often has sleepovers on the bottom bunk, and it’s lovely to see them enjoy these memories together in a space we created!”

Product List

  • Rug, lamp, and ceiling pendant — B&Q
  • Bedding, green stool, space mobile, and curtains — H&M
  • Blanket — IKEA
  • Poster — Yaya Studio
  • Desk — Facebook Marketplace
  • Book storage — Aldi
  • Chair — La Redoute